Idiopathic scoliosis: characteristics and epidemiology

Orthopedics. 1987 Jun;10(6):921-6. doi: 10.3928/0147-7447-19870601-11.


An epidemiological survey of idiopathic scoliosis derived by school screening in Greece has shown a three-fold rise in prevalence rate from 1% in 6-year-olds to more than 3% in 15-year-olds. Moderate curves (with a Cobb angle of 10 degrees to 19 degrees) are the most common curve magnitude encountered in both boys and girls. Typical curves (right thoracic, left lumbar, or right thoracic left lumbar double structural configurations) become relatively more prevalent with rising curve magnitude, while atypical curve patterns (left thoracic, right lumbar, or left thoracic right lumbar double structural configurations) reciprocally diminish. Growth is clearly an important environment in which curves progress and peak prevalence rates occur at the ages of 11 years and 13 years. Although it is not possible to prognosticate about the individual case, attention to these characteristics derived from epidemiological surveys is useful in assessing future curve behavior.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Greece
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / diagnostic imaging
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Radiography
  • Scoliosis / classification
  • Scoliosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Scoliosis / epidemiology*
  • Scoliosis / pathology
  • Thoracic Vertebrae / diagnostic imaging